Random ranting incoming:
One ‘awesome’ feature does not an MMO make.
“TESO is a copy/paste puddle of fail, but feature X looks interesting”. A cute gimmick feature can make an iPhone game worth the buck and download. It won’t get people to subscribe to your MMO for years.
You know what feature separated Asheron’s Call from Ultima Online? Everything. Why was DAOC different from the previous big three MMOs? Because it was, from its roots to its end-game. Way too many MMOs today look identical in all aspects but one or two, and yet devs are surprised people are ‘burning out’ at an accelerated rate. Combine this with the MMO model being one of KEEPING people interested, rather than just GETTING them interested like a single-player game, and the failtrain is pulling into the station earlier and earlier these days. When people can write off your game after your first interview (SW:TOR , TESO), you might want to reconsider some things.
Three faction PvP is the new MMO cure-all.
Can we stop this already? Yes, after DAOC everyone was asking for three faction PvP instead of the two-sided stuff that WoW and its clones were doing. And yes, it’s sad that it’s 2012 and we are just now getting titles coming out that may have it. And yes, in general 3-sided PvP is better than two, but already the concept has been screwed and cheapened.
You know why factions worked in DAOC? Because you had ugly dwarves vs hippy elves vs asshat humans, and most people could identify with one side and hate what the other two represented. DAOC had three factions, who happen to fight over stuff. Hate keeps people logging in and bashing doors or space structures. Fact not opinion™.
It’s not “three faction” PvP if you take your only ‘faction’, split it evenly into three groups, and have them fight off in a corner and then come back to hug it out. If there is no buy-in or hatred, it won’t work long-term, and long-term is kinda the goal here.
Stop talking about your game years before its release.
If your release date can still be counted in years, stfu. If I can’t play your beta in a few weeks, I don’t care, and consider your title 100% vaporware. Feel free to prove me wrong, but do so quietly. Dominus, Copernicus, Embers of Cearus, DF2.0, the list goes on. Any intern with Google can create an awesome-looking list of MMO features. Before they deliver anything everyone is always convinced they not only know what previous titles did wrong, but how to fix it. And of course, come beta (if beta ever comes), we find out that 99% of what you said all these years can be summed up as “bears bears bears” and you just released a horrible version of WoW.
Bonus points to those who, after their MMO is shut down, continue to talk about how amazing their MMO was. If your game was worth a crap, it would not have been canned, but obviously whatever it was you were showing to those with money did not look nearly ‘awesome’ enough for anyone to throw you a few bucks.
Double bonus because no one can ever claim your ‘awesome’ feature was in fact trash, since you never made it far enough for anyone to see. Your e-rep is safe, yo!
Kickstarter is about as trendy right now as updating your Twitter or Facebook was yesterday. And while the general concept is cool (vote with your wallet), can we at least get projects that have SOMETHING completed before you ask for money? Like I’m pretty sure if I copy/pasted by “PvE MMO design” post into Kickstarter today, I’d have a million bucks tomorrow. And I could probably hit two million by copy/pasting some obscure MMOs art and making a ‘dev video’ talking about how my combat system is the most “fluid, lifelike, immersive” system ever, and how my housing/ship/war/econ/political system has the depth of a full-on sim title, all within a “massive, unique” world. STFU or start your beta.
In totally unrelated news, I finally finished my Baldur’s Gate 1 game, and having started BG2, I still can’t believe the same company behind those games made SW:TOR. It’s like Grey Goose releasing a new flavor called sewage water. Just disgusting.
Also BG1 is a better sandbox than most ‘sandbox’ titles today, but that’s another post.